April 2011 - Volume 31, Number 4


Could this be the year of the trout? After last year’s fishery closures, one certainly might expect there to be more and bigger specks swimming around. So Louisiana Sportsman went to the experts to see what their crystal ball shows.

Louisiana anglers were chomping at the bit for trout season to kick off last spring, and they weren’t disappointed as warming weather led to quick limits all across the coast.

This Ouachita River regular knows that hardly a fish in America tastes better than a Louisiana flathead.

Sgt. Duane Taylor sat in the chilly morning air listening to volleys of shotgun blasts in the greentree reservoir on Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area.

The water won’t be pretty out of Buras this month, but who cares? It’ll be loaded with fish.

Artie’s bellows in the den brought Eddie and Brenda rushing in from the back deck.

These anglers know Carolina rigs are extremely underrated in Louisiana. They flat-out produce bass when other baits won’t.

Stephen Johnston isn’t one to stir up trouble, but the Louisiana-Texas bass guide won’t hesitate to stir up the bottom. In fact, he says a little silt shaking does wonders for attracting Bayou State bass in muddy southern waters.

This time of year on Toledo Bend’s southern end, finding fish is as easy as finding the green stuff.

Look for Stephen Johnston most days from March to November, and you’ll probably find him mowing the grass. Mind you, he’s not running a lawn-care crew; rather, he’s fishing the vast vegetation that dominates the southern end of Toledo Bend.

Hysteria gripped the nation while oil from BP’s well spewed into the Gulf of Mexico and oiled Louisiana’s marshes and beaches. Now, some Americans still refuse to eat seafood from this region. Are their fears valid?

In 1957, during the height of the Cold War, fiction writer Nevil Shute wrote On the Beach, a post-apocalyptic novel set in Australia shortly after World War III has wiped out all life in the northern hemisphere. With global air currents inexorably carrying the deadly fallout of nuclear war to the southern hemisphere, the novel’s characters set about trying to get in their last bits of enjoyment of “normal life” before radiation poisoning kills all of them.

Trout have been biting for weeks at this popular port, and the action will only get better in April.

I knew it was going to be a good day on the water even before I left home. For one thing, we’d fallen into a pattern of persistent, blustery winds that were like Dracula — they wouldn’t die. Finally, a shift in the weather put a stake through its heart, and there opened a day of opportunity — a single day where the weather prognosticators said there’d be little or no wind.

Lake Pontchartrain is entirely devoid of fish attracting structure. Or is it?

Silver-haired and tanned, Dr. Bob Weiss spoke with an authoritative air, like he was used to being obeyed.

Now’s the time to get offshore and fill your fish box with tasty tuna and wonderful wahoo.

It was still dark as guide Kevin Beach’s big 33-foot catamaran zipped down Tiger Pass near Venice. Anthony Puglia had pulled his head down into his jacket like a turtle retracting its head into its shell.

This angler follows the fantastic crappie bite from Bayou Dorcheat into Lake Bistineau.

The ice on the surface of the water of Wesley Miller’s minnow bucket wasn’t exactly a harbinger of things to come, but it was a sign of just how cold it was at the start of our fishing trip.

Some of the state's leading biological soothsayers share what's in the cards for the state's rabid speckled-trout anglers.